Vista – Upgrading Without Dignity


Calvin & Hobbes, © Universal Press Syndicate. Original work by Bill Watterson. Found via

I’ve often wondered about Windows Vista, and I’m still wondering. Admittedly, I was slow to adopt Windows 3.0, 95, 98 and XP — I think I’ve had too many wasted days upgrading, and am deeply skeptical of the whole “there’s a new operating system out, so let’s buy a new computer” thing, so I know how much pain is involved in installing an operating system. Assume your day is pretty much gone.

So when Microsoft said that part of its impressive quarterly figures were in part down to Vista, I was as gobsmacked as anyone. I don’t know anyone in my (admittedly small) circle who has installed Vista (as opposed to buying a computer with it already on), so I was wondering who all these people are who have bought it? Jason Hiner of TechRepublic wonders too, and writes a good piece taking a look inside.

As he points out, “it looks like there are three primary factors driving Microsoft’s surprising spike in Vista revenue:

  • Worldwide growth (10%) in PC sales, featuring Vista on over 90% of them
  • Consumers buying the higher-priced Home Premium and Ultimate versions of Vista
  • Businesses signing general licensing agreements that include Vista (future-proofing their PCs for if and when they deploy Vista)”

But as Jason puts it, this is not quite as impressive as it could be. Unless you really know what you’re doing, you’re unlikely to opt for an XP-installed PC if you’re offered the choice in a shop, especially with all the whiz-bank eye-candy of Vista and heavy breathing from the sales dude salivating on your collar. The truth is that we don’t really have any choice about upgrading in the long run. It’s like Calvin being forced to have a bath; we know we have to and we know we will, but that doesn’t mean we’ll do it until all other avenues are exhausted.

“These developments,” Jason says, “are not a ringing endorsement of Windows Vista. They merely make it a melancholy inevitability.”

» Sanity check: The truth about Windows Vista adoption in 2007 | Tech Sanity Check |